What is ChickTech High School?

ChickTech High School revolves around creating events that will get high schoolers interested and excited about technology. These events pose some interesting challenges, as we expect that most of our participants have never had a chance to do anything like what we are offering. Our goal is to reach the girls who would make great engineers, but because of stereotypes and a lack of opportunity, may not realize it until they are already doing something else, if at all. We also strive to show the relevance of each workshop to their lives–and help them to understand that they have the ability use tech to transform their world!

Is this an alternative education setting or is this something students would do in addition to HS curriculum?

ChickTech is not an alternative education setting, it is meant to supplement a girl’s education by showing her what a career in tech would entail. Girls will attend the kick off event over 1 weekend and then can attend any other workshops they’d like throughout the school year (also scheduled on weekends so as to not interfere with school or extracurricular activities).

How much does it cost?

ChickTech High School is 100% free for the attending girls. We will cover the costs for the workshops, transportation, food and childcare.

Is this open to home school students?

Absolutely! We’d love if you could get one of your homeschool network parents to nominate your daughter if possible though. The vote of confidence from someone other than a parent is very important to our process.

When does ChickTech High School start?

ChickTech’s high school program kick off program will take place from December 8th – 9th.

Where does ChickTech High School take place?

Our kickoff weekend will take place at Texas School of the Deaf, 1102 S Congress, Austin, TX 78704.

Monthly workshops will take place all over the Austin area to accommodate as many girls as possible.

How long does the program last?

The kick off program is a weekend long event where we will provide transportation, food, child care and education for up to 100 girls.  After the kick off we will offer monthly workshops for the girls to continue their education through June.

What is included?

For our kick off weekend the girls will have access to education, food, child care (if needed) and free transportation to and from the event.  Future weekend workshops will offer food and education.  If girls need transportation and child care we can investigate sponsors for those items on a per need basis.

What does the kick off weekend look like?

Participants will participate in one workshop of their choice for the full two days. This allows for 10 hours of project time in one area so they can leave with a finished product they’re proud of by the end of the weekend. We have found this drastically increases their confidence in their abilities, their sense of community and belonging, and their interest in technology careers.

Who can participate in ChickTech High School?

Any high school student who identifies as a girl is welcome to participate. The benefit of an all-girl experience is supported by a significant body of research.

How does my daughter sign up?

Girls are all nominated by an educator. We are looking for girls who would not find tech on their own, girls who might never think of a career in tech on their own. We want educators to nominate these girls so that they see that someone believe in them and that they can follow any career path – even the one they never considered before.

Why do you need educators’ recommendations?

A crucial aspect of our program is finding young women who would not otherwise have thought of themselves as capable of succeeding in a high tech career.  As educators (teachers, troop leaders, mentors, etc), many of you have seen young women not reach their potential in STEM because they thought it was too difficult—or it wasn’t what they’ve seen women do.  By asking educators to hand-select our participants, we are giving our participants a vote of confidence: people who know them and their abilities have nominated them for this exclusive opportunity!  All of our large events fill up and have waiting lists, so we encourage you to get your list in ASAP so your students’ spaces are reserved.

Do I have to be a teacher to nominate a girl?

No you do not. We will accept nominations from mentors, troop leaders, and tutors as well. We are looking for nominations from someone who knows the potential of the girl they are nominating. Just tell us on the nomination form how you know the nominee.

What is the application process?

Now – September 15: Please fill out our nomination form with the names of up to 15 girls from your school who:

  1. Will be in 9th-12th grade as of November 2018
  2. Have never participated in a computer science course, technology project, or camp before due to lack of interest and/or financial resources
  3. Have never participated in any technology programs before, but would benefit from exposure to hands-on activities, mentoring opportunities and career exposure
  4. Typically would not consider a tech career without extra encouragement
  5. Have an above-average aptitude for math or science, along with a creativity and willingness to learn new things
  6. (30%+) are eligible for free or reduced lunch

These girls probably:

  • have been actively discouraged from a career in tech in the past
  • haven’t tried out tech projects because of obstacles in their life
  • aren’t confident in their skills

September 6 – October 6: We print letters addressed to each of the potential participants and deliver them to each school.

October 6 – October 30: Participants register online for the event. The event is first come, first served, although we will have a waiting list in case there are cancellations.

December 8 – December 9: The ChickTech Austin Kick-off weekend at the Texas School for the Deaf!

What kind of results have you seen from ChickTech High School?

Statistics from Austin’s first year can be found here. View 2016 – 2017 Stats

Statistics from Austin’s second year can be found here. View 2017 – 2018 Stats

Statistics from Austin’s third year can be found here. View 2018 – 2019 Stats

In other cities in 2015, ChickTech: High School showed tremendous results:

  • 55% of our participants had no experience creating tech projects before choosing ChickTech
  • participants who felt “confident” or “very confident” in their technology skills increased from 27% to 74%
  • participants who felt “informed” or “well informed” about technology increased from 46% to 91%
  • we increased the number of high school participants who were “interested” or “very interested” in a tech career from 47% to 89% …in only one weekend.

ChickTech is a registered 501(c)3.